What happens after prejudice is confronted in the workplace? How mindsets affect minorities' and women's outlook on future social relations

Rattan, A and Dweck, C S (2018) What happens after prejudice is confronted in the workplace? How mindsets affect minorities' and women's outlook on future social relations. Journal of Applied Psychology, 103 (6). pp. 676-687. ISSN 0021-9010 OPEN ACCESS

Abstract

Organizations are increasingly concerned with fostering successful diversity. Toward this end, diversity research has focused on trying to reduce prejudice and biased behavior. But what happens when prejudice in the workplace inevitably occurs? Research also needs to focus on whether recovery and repair of social relations after incidents of prejudice are possible. To begin investigating this question, we develop a new framework for understanding reactions to prejudice in the workplace. We hypothesized that when women and minorities choose to confront a prejudiced comment in a workplace interaction (vs. remain silent) and hold a growth (vs. fixed) mindset — the belief that others can change — they remain more positive in their subsequent outlook in the workplace. Studies 1a, 1b, and 2 used hypothetical workplace scenarios to expose participants to someone who expressed bias; Study 3 ensured real-world relevance by eliciting retrospective accounts of workplace bias from African American employees. Across studies, women and minorities who confronted the perpetrator of prejudice exhibited more positive subsequent expectations of that co-worker when they held a growth mindset. Importantly, these more positive expectations were associated with reports of greater workplace belonging (Study 2), ratings of improved relations with co-workers who had displayed bias (Study 3), and greater workplace satisfaction (Studies 2-3). Thus, a growth mindset contributes to successful workplace diversity by protecting women’s and minorities’ outlook when they opt to confront expressions of bias.

More Details

Item Type: Article
Subject Areas: Organisational Behaviour
Additional Information: © 2017 American Psychological Association
Subjects: W > Working environment
D > Diversity in the workplace
P > Prejudice
Date Deposited: 29 Mar 2018 11:39
Last Modified: 24 Aug 2019 00:11
URI: http://lbsresearch.london.edu/id/eprint/921
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